“If I didn't define myself for myself, I would be crunched into other people's fantasies for me and eaten alive.”
--Audre Lorde

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Report Back: USSF: "A Conversation with Grace Lee Boggs and Immanuel Wallerstein"

The presence of Grace Lee Boggs at the U.S. Social Forum this year--95 years into her life as an activist and free thinker--was one of the aspects of the Forum that touched everything else that I experienced in Detroit.

Image from Americans Who Tell the Truth

During one celebration of her 95th birthday at the Social Forum, I heard Grace talk about once living in an apartment that she could only access via an alleyway that was infested with rats. "And that was important," she said, "because it made me rat-conscious!" I am amazed by her resilience and her tremendous mind.

On Thursday, I had the opportunity to hear Grace Lee Boggs speak with Immanuel Wallerstein. Introduced as "avid seekers of new truth," they have known each other since the 60's and seemed delighted to share the stage. Here are a few notes I took as I listened.

Hackers on Planet Earth (HOPE)

Yet another conference this summer! I think that hacker interests in privacy and librarian interests are not too far off (or as M claims, growing closer and closer--I hope so). I'm excited for these talks (in addition to seeing a sea of hackers all together):

Zine Libraries: Policies and Documentation

I've been working on a few projects surrounding zine libraries and underground press collections. One thing I noticed (and posted to the Zine Librarians email list) is that there isn't a centralized repository of shared documentation for folks who are starting to start up their own collections (often people are happy to share the info, there just isn't a central location for it to live). While creating that repository is a larger project than I can handle at the moment, I did want to share my own work.

I'm posting the SLIS Library Workers Zine Collection Collection Policies and Guide here.

It was originally a booklet of information about the Library Workers Zine Collection that I started at the SLIS Laboratory Library in 2006. I've attached a copy of the document and pasted it here so that you can read most of the text on this site or download the PDF version with full cataloging information (!!!). Hope it is helpful!

Back from Detroit

I am back from Detroit but still processing all that I took part in at the U.S. Social Forum. The Forum was amazing and I was so happy to participate and to help it to happen. I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be a part of the smaller as well as the larger organizations that I worked within.

Detroit itself was a lesson. One that I am still thinking about. I think we all appreciated the wide, desolate roads for our bikes, but the ghosts of industry and capital seemed caught in much of the city. It was difficult to ride through, despite the bike-able streets. More thoughts and reports-back to come.

New York Libraries in Crisis

Sad things are happening to each of our borough's public libraries. Major staffing cuts, branches will soon close. There are a few campaigns to combat the cuts, and a 24 Hour Read-In today that will happen on the steps of the Grand Army Plaza Brooklyn Public Library. Daunting library times.

Rhymes with Bean: A Do-It-Yourself Zine Definition

As I am doing a bit of schoolwork and other projects related to zines and print culture, I dug up an old piece that I had originally written for the Madison Zine Fest's website in 2005. I thought it might be useful to share here. Re-reading it again in combination with another survey of the literature has likewise inspired me to create more comprehensive list of definitions, so stay tuned for that.

(click through for)
Rhymes with Bean: A Do-It-Yourself Zine Definition

Critical Pedagogy and Library Instruction Report Back

Writing after a thorough brain workout at the Critical Pedagogy and Library Instruction session held here at home base in the Brooklyn College Library yesterday.

Ira Shor, presenting the first portion of our event, was really enlivening. I appreciated how he infused discussions of class, social consciousness and context into all what he spoke about. A few notes that I jotted down from his talk follow below.

Bloggers Throughout Time and Space

I just clicked over to the Utne Reader for this post: Rare Photo of Early 20th Century Bloggers

The Rights of Readers and the Threat of the Kindle

Today is our first talk about readers' rights and ebooks, at the LACUNY Emerging Technologies event at Baruch College. I thought folks might be interested in the website that Matt and I have created to store information about our talks (as well as the presentation slides): it's over at readersbillofrights.info

Are you going?

I'm thinking of trying to swing it...

Documenting Struggle Redux: Radical New York City Archives


Radical Reference presents a second evening about how community history is documented and celebrated. Archivists and activists will present parts of their collections and discuss how their work keeps the struggle alive. (Details about our first "Documenting Struggle" can be found at http://radicalreference.info/radicalarchivesevent.)

Monday, April 26
Brecht Forum
451 West St (between Bank & Bethune Sts), NYC
$6/10/15 sliding scale (no one turned away)

April 23rd LACUNY Program: Electronic Books and Electronic Readers: Emerging Issues and Questions

Title: Electronic Books and Electronic Readers: Emerging Issues and Questions
Sponsor: The LACUNY Emerging Technologies Committee
Date: Friday, April 23rd
Time: 2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Location: CHANGED ROOM! Baruch College Vertical Campus--room 11-150 on the 11th floor.

Speakers & Presentations

Alycia Sellie & Matthew Goins - Brooklyn College

"The Rights of Readers and the Threat of the Kindle"

Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods

This might be a *little* late, but Critical Library Instruction: Theories and Methods is out(!), and my copy is on the way(!), and you can get your own here(!).

This is definitely one of my most highly anticipated library texts to come out post MLS!

Upcoming Events

Lots of upcoming news and events for the Spring semester, most notably:

I'll be speaking with Matthew Goins at two upcoming events about eBooks and readers' rights:

I'll be participating in ACRL's Immersion Teacher Track program this Summer in Burlington, Vermont. I wrote in my application that I am
interested to examine how critical pedagogy fits into library instruction, so I am excited to see how this can be discussed within the larger frameworks of the program. I'm also excited to get the chance to focus on teaching for a bit and to share what I learn with my colleagues.

And finally, I am really excited to be a part of the upcoming Center for the History of Print Culture in Modern America's Library History Seminar XII: Libraries in the History of Print Culture. I can't wait to hear Janice Radway speak and to spend some time in Madison talking about print culture (whilst also enjoying some New Glarus!).

Queens Librarian Talk

Jenna and I will be presenting "Zines 101" tomorrow at the Queens Public Library. I'm excited to spend some time looking at works with our librarian audience as an attempt to define them (an illustration of my DIY Zine Definition). For slides you can see Jenna's post.

Currently Reading

Zines in Third Space: Radical Cooperation and Borderlands Rhetoric

Alycia's favorite books »

Daily Reading Log

May 12, 2016

May 5, 2016

  • "Kentucky Is My Fate," by bell hooks, from Belonging: A Culture of Place. Wow.

May 2, 2016

April 29, 2016

  • Chapter three of Queer Art of Failure

April 13, 2016

April 11, 2016

January 3, 2016

  • Skimmed through Textual Poachers by Jenkins.
  • Read some pieces of de Certeau, some of the scriptural economy chapter and all of "Reading as Poaching" from The Practice of Everyday Life

2016 Reading Goals

Following Vicky's lead, this year I'm going to devote half of my reading to works made by women of color. I've got an overall goal of reading 60 books in 2016 (gulp). If you're interested to take on a similar challenge, Vicky's reading lists are a great place to start. Happy reading, all!

Late December

Been listening to H is for Hawk. So far I drift in and out of really hearing it, but the part about an unexpected death rings true. But it's not a punch in the stomach--it's a bowling ball to the guts. Wishing I'd developed that film that was of the piece I made in college that I must have threw away, but I also don't regret getting rid of things usually.

December 3-4, 2015

  • Lisa Gitelman's “Print Culture (Other Than Codex).” Comparative Textual Media. Eds. N. Katherine Hayles and
    Jessica Pressman. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2013. AND “Daniel Ellsberg and the Lost Idea of the Photocopy.” Participatory Media in Historical Context. Eds. Anders Ekström, et al. New York: Routledge, 2011.

November 30, 2015

October 15, 2015

Reading/dog-earing Coates' Between the World and Me.

October 14, 2013

Finished the Slice Harvester memoir within 12 hours of getting it from ILL. Highly recommended. Made me reminiscent of when I moved to the city and we would get a slice from Luigi's, back when Luigi was still there (and you would not necessarily encounter the dude who we now refer to as the "our friend jesus" guy), and eat it sitting by the canon every single day before my evening shift, with the ferocious pizza-eating squirrels.

October 5, 2015

  • Finished "A Tale for the Time Being" by Ruth Ozeki. One of the best novels I have read in YEARS. Really impressive in voice and intricate construction.
  • Morgan, W., & Wyatt-Smith, C. (2000). Im/proper accountability: Towards a theory of critical literacy and assessment. Assessment in Education, 7(1), 123-142.
  • Schlesselman-Tarango, Gina, "Cyborgs in the Academic Library: A Cyberfeminist Approach to Information Literacy Instruction" (2014). Library Faculty Publications. Paper 19.

September 30, 2015

  • Finished My Struggle (book one) and grew to adore it by the end. There was a moment when I worried it would be too much about being a white guy trying to get girls, but all the death and decay at the end washed away what I had felt, or worried about, in the middle. I also put down another book around the same time for fear of the same pitfalls. Will I finish that one? If I knew that writing about puddles of piss could wholly grip me and endear me to that book in the way it did with this one I would wholeheartedly finish it as soon as I could (every time those were mentioned here at the end I got sliced through the heart just like living with analogous situations IRL).